By Dave Glenn, ACC Sports Journal
June 28, 2004 About a month ago, Maryland had just two commitments from members of the Class of 2005, a small number but one that paralleled the recruiting developments at most other Division I-A programs in the nation. Then came the Terps' summer camp, a two-session, week-long event held from June 16-23 this year.
Traditionally, a major program's offseason camp is an opportunity for a prospect who's already at least preliminarily interested in a school to learn more about the campus, the football facilities, the team and its coaches. At the same time, the college coaches get an extended, in-person, up-close look at many players they may have previously seen only on film or, sometimes, not at all.
"The more you know about each other, the better it is for both sides to make a decision," Maryland recruiting coordinator James Franklin said. "Summer camp is a perfect opportunity for that give and take not just here, but at every school in the nation. It accelerates the learning curve for both sides."
By the end of June, after the Maryland camp, the Terps had 13 commitments. Here's a review of the prospects who most recently decided to play in College Park.
Wheaton (MD) Good Counsel TE/DE Dwight "Deege" Galt, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Maryland, picked the Terps over Army, James Madison and Towson. Boston College and Virginia Tech also showed interest. As a junior, he had 48 tackles and 10 sacks as an end while also serving as his team's long snapper, another position where he hopes to help the Terps. His father, Dwight, is a Maryland graduate who is in his 10th year as the director of strength and conditioning for the Terps. Deege runs the 40 in 4.9 seconds.
Wheaton (MD) Good Counsel DE Tom Galt, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Maryland, committed to the Terps over Army, James Madison and Towson. Boston College and Virginia Tech also showed interest. The twin brother of Dwight Galt (see above), Tom played end as a junior and snapped on field goals and conversions. He runs the 40 in 4.9 seconds.
Indian Head (MD) Lackey RB Morgan Green, rated one of the top five seniors in Maryland, opted for the Terps over Boston College, Florida, N.C. State, Penn State and Virginia. A consensus all-state selection as a junior, he rushed 360 times for 2,630 yards, posting the second-highest single-season rushing total in Maryland high school football history. As a sophomore, he ran for 1,140 yards. With 2,021 more yards as a senior, Green would become the state's all-time career rushing leader. He benches 310 pounds, squats 460 and runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds. He must improve his academic credentials to qualify. His main recruiter with Maryland is receivers coach James Franklin.
"He has a chance to be an Eddie George type of back for Maryland," Lackey coach Scott Chadwick said. "He can run you over, or he can run away from you. Almost everybody who saw Morgan on film offered him a scholarship, and most of them didn't take very long to do it."
Garden City (GA) Groves LB/DE Barrod Heggs, rated one of the top 100 seniors in Georgia, picked the Terps over Coastal Carolina. Auburn, Central Florida, Florida, Georgia and Georgia Tech also showed interest. An all-area, all-county and first-team Class 5A all-state selection, he had 75 tackles and 16 sacks as a junior. He benches 320 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.8 seconds. His main recruiter with Maryland is offensive line coach Tom Brattan.
Joppa (MD) Joppatowne FB/DE Jeremy Navarre, rated one of the top 10 seniors in Maryland, chose the Terps over Penn State. Boston College, Duke, Michigan, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia and Virginia Tech also showed interest. An all-state and all-metro selection as a junior, he had 158 tackles and 11 sacks last fall while playing linebacker, defensive end and fullback for an 8-5 team that won the Class 1A state championship. He was named the defensive player of the year in Harford County and the Baltimore student-athlete of the year. Also a two-time defending state wrestling champion, Navarre went 37-0 with 26 pins last winter. He's expected to begin his career at Maryland as a fullback. He benches 320 pounds, squats 450 and runs the 40 in 4.8 seconds. He has a 3.2 GPA and a 960 SAT score. His main recruiter with Maryland is offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe.
"The camp made my decision for me," Navarre said. "I've like Maryland all along, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to stay in-state, and I didn't want to make a decision until I spent some time around the coaches. I felt very comfortable with everything (at the camp), so I went ahead and (committed). Now I can enjoy my senior year instead of worrying about (recruiting)."
Manchester (NH) Central LB Dave Philistin, rated one of the top five seniors in New Hampshire, picked the Terps over Boston College, Central Florida, Connecticut and West Virginia. Michigan and Syracuse also showed interest. A first-team all-state selection, he rushed for 1,717 yards and 22 touchdowns last year on offense and had 108 tackles, 12 sacks and three interceptions on defense for a team that won its third straight Division I state championship. His brother played football at Norfolk State. Philistin benches 380 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds. With a 2.5 GPA and a 790 SAT score, he must improve his academic credentials to qualify. His main recruiter with Maryland is outside linebackers coach Al Seamonson.
Lakeland (FL) Evangel Christian DB Chris Rogers, rated one of the top 100 seniors in Florida, chose the Terps over Alabama, Iowa State and Louisville. Kansas State and UCLA also showed interest. As a junior, he had 75 tackles, 22 pass breakups and 10 interceptions, giving him a school-record 18 picks for his career. As a sophomore, he had 85 tackles and eight interceptions. He benches 270 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds. He has a 3.0 GPA and a 730 SAT score. His main recruiter with Maryland is inside linebackers coach Tim Banks.
Hartford (CT) Weaver FB Asaph Schwapp, rated one of the top 10 seniors in Connecticut, picked the Terps over interest from Boston College, Connecticut, Iowa, Penn State, Rutgers and Wisconsin. A two-time all-conference selection, he rushed for 1,313 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior, with 74 tackles and eight sacks on defense. Schwapp also throws the shot and discus for the Weaver track team. He benches 360 pounds, squats 450 and runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds. He has a 3.3 GPA and was named his school's student-athlete of the year in 2003-04. His main recruiter with Maryland is defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo.
Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic WR Isaiah Williams, rated one of the top 25 seniors in New Jersey, selected the Terps over Syracuse, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Boston College, Connecticut, Nebraska, Rutgers and Virginia also showed interest. During an injury-filled junior season, he had 11 receptions for 250 yards and three touchdowns. He runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds. His main recruiter with Maryland is defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo.
Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha Catholic DB Anthony Wiseman, rated one of
the top 10 seniors in Maryland, picked the Terps over Boston College, Clemson,
Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia
Tech. N.C. State, Tennessee and West Virginia also showed interest. A rare three-year,
two-way starter at powerhouse DeMatha, he rushed for a team-leading 852 yards
and 11 touchdowns as a junior for a
12-0 team that won the Catholic League championship. He also had 40 tackles and three interceptions on defense. He had 756 rushing yards as a sophomore. Wiseman benches 280 pounds, squats 400 and runs the 40 in 4.4 seconds. Also an outstanding return man, he posted one of the fastest 55-meter times in the high school ranks nationally as a sophomore. He has a 2.4 GPA and must improve his academic credentials to qualify. His main recruiter with Maryland is receivers coach James Franklin.
Tucker (GA) High RB/DB Brandyn Young, rated one of the top 50 seniors in Georgia, opted for the Terps over Auburn, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State. Georgia, Oregon and Virginia also showed interest. As a junior, backing up star Thomas Brown at tailback, he rushed 140 times for 576 yards and eight touchdowns. Young's father is the equipment manager for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons. Brandyn runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds. His main recruiter with Maryland is offensive line coach Tom Brattan.
A pair of high school juniors also recently committed to Maryland. Forestville (MD) Suitland LB Navarro Bowman (6-0, 210) and Forestville (MD) High OL Antonio Logan-El (6-4, 305) accepted very early scholarship offers from the Terps in June. They can't sign binding letters of intent until February 2006.
Talented Targets Head Elsewhere
Charlotte (NC) Independence QB Joe Cox, rated one of the top 25 seniors in North Carolina, committed to Georgia after previously announcing for Duke. Georgia Tech, UNC, NCSU, Stanford and UCLA also showed interest. As a junior, he completed 237 of 373 passes (63 percent) for 3,983 yards and 43 touchdowns while playing for coach Tommy Knotts, who left Independence earlier this year to become the quarterbacks coach at Duke and recruited Cox for the Blue Devils this spring and summer. Cox has a 4.5 GPA and an 1,140 SAT score.
Waynesville (NC) Tuscola QB Jonathan Crompton, rated one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the nation, picked Tennessee over Georgia and Miami. He had more than 60 other early offers, including those from Arizona State, Clemson, Duke, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, UNC, NCSU, Southern Cal, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. As a junior, he threw for 2,323 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Conway (SC) High WR Eric Huggins, rated one of the top 25 receivers in the nation, opted for Oklahoma over Clemson, Florida, FSU and Michigan. He also had offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Iowa, Kansas State, Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska, UNC, NCSU, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech and UCLA. He has a 2.5 GPA and needs a qualifying SAT score.
Parkton (MD) Hereford OL Joe Akers, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Maryland, committed to Connecticut over early interest from Boston College, Marshall and Syracuse. Lancaster (OH) High OL Jim Cordle, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Ohio, picked Ohio State over Boston College, Cincinnati, Kentucky and West Virginia. Troy (OH) High DT Todd Denlinger, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Ohio, chose Ohio State over Boston College, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin. He also had offers from Duke, Maryland, Michigan State, UNC, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Stanford, Vanderbilt and West Virginia. Lovejoy (GA) High DB Keith Fitzhugh, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Georgia, opted for Mississippi State over Georgia, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. He also had offers from Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska and Oklahoma State. One of his former coaches at Lovejoy is now a graduate assistant at MSU.
Houston (TX) Westfield DB Devin Gregg, rated one of the top 150 seniors in Texas, selected Texas A&M over Georgia Tech, Houston, UTEP and Wisconsin. Gilmer (TX) High DB Kevin Hollis, rated one of the top 100 seniors in Texas, committed to Kansas State over Duke, Mississippi State and Nebraska. Smyrna (TN) High RB/DB Marsalous Johnson, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Tennessee, selected Tennessee over interest from Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi State and Wake Forest. New Orleans (LA) St. Augustine DE Al Jones, rated one of the top 25 defensive linemen in the nation, picked LSU over FSU, Miami and Oklahoma State. He also had offers from Duke, Mississippi, Nebraska, UCLA and West Virginia. Richardson (TX) Berkner TE/DE Jason Lamb, rated one of the top 200 seniors in Texas, chose Baylor over Mississippi State, UNC, Tulsa and Wyoming.
Tuscola (TX) Ned QB Colt McCoy, rated one of the top 100 seniors in Texas, chose Texas over Georgia Tech, Missouri and Texas A&M. New Rochelle (NY) High DB Raymell Rice, rated one of the top 25 seniors in New York, opted for Syracuse over Virginia. Alabama, Boston College and UNC also showed interest. Webster (NY) Schroeder LB Michael Stenclik, rated one of the top 25 seniors in New York, picked Syracuse over Boston College and Connecticut. Avon Lake (OH) High WR/DB Trey Stross, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Ohio, chose Iowa over Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio State, Purdue and Syracuse. Cherry Hill (NJ) Camden Catholic WR/DB Marcus Wilson, rated one of the top 25 seniors in New Jersey, picked Iowa over Boston College, Indiana, Louisville, UNC, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse and Virginia.
Clemson, Hokies Take 2004 Hits
As is the case in all major conferences, a significant number of ACC signees failed to qualify academically this year. Entering July, at least six Class of 2003 prospects had fallen short of NCAA standards, which take into consideration a player's core GPA in high school and his SAT/ACT score. Among the minimum qualifying combinations on the organization's sliding scale are a 2.5 core GPA with an 820 SAT score (17 ACT), a 2.0 core GPA with a 1,010 SAT score, and a 2.7 core GPA with a 730 SAT score. The higher the core GPA, the lower the required SAT/ACT score, and vice versa.
North Charleston (SC) Fort Dorchester TE/DE Durrell Barry, a Clemson signee, said he plans to attend Fork Union (VA) Military Academy. Roanoke (VA) Northside OL Brandon Holland, a Virginia Tech signee, said he will enroll at Chatham (VA) Hargrave Military Academy. Union (SC) High DT Rashad Jackson, a Clemson signee, said he will enroll at Southwest Mississippi (MS) Junior College. Timmonsville (SC) High WR/DB Phillip Morris, a Clemson signee, said he plans to attend Georgia Military (GA) Junior College. Fork Union (VA) Military FB James Terry, a Virginia signee, said he will enroll at Division I-AA Hofstra. (Terry, who signed with UVa in 2003 and again in 2004, reportedly met NCAA minimums but was denied admission by the university.) Blacksburg (VA) High FB/LB Sam Wheeler, a Virginia Tech signee, said he will enroll at Chatham (VA) Hargrave Military Academy.
At least 23 additional ACC signees from the incoming class remained short of NCAA minimums entering their final attempts at the standardized tests and still were awaiting the results of those tests in late June. The last SAT before fall enrollment at ACC schools was offered on June 5, and the last ACT before fall enrollment was offered on June 12. Test-takers generally receive their results of the June exams via mail in early July, although it often is possible to get the information a bit earlier via the telephone or the internet.
Among the prospects whose eligibility for the 2004 season remained in doubt entering July were Glen Burnie (MD) High OL Branden Albert (Virginia), Greenville (NC) Rose RB Andre Brown (N.C. State), Chesapeake (VA) Deep Creek RB Antwain Carey (UNC), Miami (FL) Edison OL Jacky Claude (Florida State), Miami (FL) Washington OL Antonio Dixon (Miami), Deerfield Beach (FL) High DT Emmanuel Dunbar (Florida State), Greenbelt (MD) Roosevelt OL/DE Jared Gaither (Maryland), Chatham (VA) Hargrave Military DT Marcus Hands (UNC), Culpeper (VA) County DB Kent Hicks (Maryland), Lake City (FL) Columbia DB Rashaun Jones (Miami), Roxboro (NC) Person DT LaMarte McGhee (N.C. State), Opelika (AL) High DT Jacquez McKissic (Clemson), Cordova (TN) High TE/DE Phillip Merling (Clemson), Miami (FL) Krop OL Chris Rutledge (Miami), Lake City (FL) Columbia WR/DB George Timmons (Miami), Miami (FL) Killian RB Bobby Washington (Miami) and Palm Beach Gardens (FL) High DE Willie Young (N.C. State).
Six other (unlisted) ACC signees also had unconfirmed academics entering July. The only schools whose entire 2004 recruiting classes had met NCAA minimum standards at that point were Boston College, Duke and Georgia Tech.
Meanwhile, the status of Miami (FL) Carol City LB Willie Williams likely will remain in doubt well into July for reasons unrelated to academics. Williams, a prep All-American who signed with Miami, recently pleaded no contest to felony and misdemeanor charges that stemmed from his winter recruiting trip to Florida. (He was sentenced to one year of probation, plus restitution to the victims.) Williams, who has been arrested at least 11 times including at least four times on felony charges and now has pleaded no contest to two separate felonies, was scheduled to meet with a Broward County judge on June 30 to learn of his penalty (from nothing to five years in prison) for violating the probation he received for his previous felony conviction.
Miami officials are expected to evaluate Williams' application for admission soon after his myriad legal problems finally come to a conclusion.